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Tyson Fury vacates WBO and WBA heavyweight titles

Britain's Tyson Fury the heavyweight world boxing champion is interviewed after attending a press conference in Manchester, England, Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Fury is scheduled for a rematch against and Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday July 9 at the Manchester Arena. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
(AP Photo/Jon Super)

Tyson Fury is no longer the WBO or WBA heavyweight champion, as the British heavyweight has decided to vacate both crowns in light of his recent mental health concerns.

The BBC was the first to report the news, citing Fury will now be focusing on “medical treatment and recovery.” Both the World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association had already said the British champion was running the risk of being stripped of their respective titles prior to his decision to vacate.

“I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer,” Fury told BBC.

“I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active.

“I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I’m unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles.”

Fury has not competed since first winning the titles in a stunning decision upset of former longtime heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko last November.

The two were scheduled to meet in a rematch in July, but saw the bout postponed after Fury suffered an ankle injury while training. Fury vs. Klitschko was then scheduled to take place in late October, only to see it fall through again after Fury was said to be dealing with mental health issues.

Fury has since failed a drug test after testing positive for cocaine metabolites. He tells Rolling Stone he’s been using the drug to help deal with depression.

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